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V. 28 [Surah Al-Ahzab] on wives of the Prophet (pbuh); does it refer to divorce?


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Author Topic: V. 28 [Surah Al-Ahzab] on wives of the Prophet (pbuh); does it refer to divorce?  (Read 533 times)
Ruhi_Rose
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« on: August 26, 2011, 04:14:54 am »

 BismEm


"O Prophet! Say unto thy wives: If ye desire the world's life and its adornment, come! I will content you and will release you with a fair release."  (33:28)

Salaams all.  Would anyone know the exact reference of this verse .... I mean in what context was it revealed?
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 04:31:04 am »

Hummm, I suppose it's not easy to know the exact context of such verses that clearly refer to family circumstances, whether it be the Prophet's family or any other.  

The Hadith has come up with a certain explanation but Hadith is Hadith and just can't be trusted.  I quote Maududi's tafsir on this verse based on Hadith but it could be a pure fabrication.  Only Allah knows best.

Quote
.. sent down in the period contiguous to the Battle of the Trench and the raid on Bani Quraizah.  According to a tradition related in al-Muslim on the authority of Hadrat Jabir bin `Abdullah, "One day when Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat 'Umar visited the Holy Prophet, they saw that his wives were sitting around him and he was quiet. Addressing Hadrat `Umar, he said: `They are sitting around me as you see: they are asking for money for household expenditure'." At this both the Companions rebuked their daughters and said, "Why do you embarrass the Holy Prophet and demand from him that which he does not have." This event shows how hard pressed the Holy Prophet was economically at that time and how distressed and embarrassed he was feeling at his wives' demand for domestic expenditure during the period when a bitter conflict was going on between Islam and paganism.  
Unquote

Frankly, as in the case of all hadith, the description of the wives sitting around the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr and Umar coming and seeing the family 'siege' on the Prophet (pbuh) is certainly a hadith theatrical portrayal and I don't trust it at all.

However, the fact that the Prophet (pbuh) and his family particularly after coming to Medinah led a very simple life with very little money is a confirmed fact through various historical information.  Once, a few years ago, I read an article by a much more reliable writer whose name I don't recall, and he came up with a different explanation on this Verse as a possibility which made more sense.  He mentioned to the affect that this verse was most likely revealed at a time when the Muslims had won several battles and were in possession of much booty & wealth which was meant to be used by the State of Medinah for the benefit of the land and to help the needy.  At such a time, several families in Medinah started making demands highlighting their needs to acquire some share of that wealth.  Probably some of the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) might have wanted a little of that money for their personal use and thus pressured the Prophet (pbuh) concerning it.  The Prophet did not yield to their demands and was likely somewhat upset by their attraction to worldly riches.  And this Verse 33:28 refers to that situation.  

This sounds very plausible.  However only Allah knows the actual truth.    
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 04:49:44 am »

Thank u dear brother.  Your feedback was helpful.  I too think the second explanation is likely closer to being true.  The one of Maududi has a typical Hadith style and spells of being unreliable. 

And yes, only Allah knows it best.

Btw, Jumatul Wida mubarak .. that is the last Friday of Ramandan.  This year the Night of Qadr will also be on Friday.    May Allah (Subhana Wa'Tala) accept our fasts, our salats and supplications of this blessed and beautiful month.  Ameen, ameen.
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 04:51:50 am »

You're welcomed.  and thank u sister.  Jumma tul Wida Mubarak to u and everyone too.  Yes, Leilatul Qadr will InshAllah be on Friday night as well. 

May Allah Almighty accept our efforts.  ameen.
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 02:06:20 am »

Thanks for the good education in this thread. 
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2017, 11:45:19 am »

Frankly, as in the case of all hadith, the description of the wives sitting around the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr and Umar coming and seeing the family 'siege' on the Prophet (pbuh) is certainly a hadith theatrical portrayal and I don't trust it at all.

Exactly ..


I read an article by a much more reliable writer whose name I don't recall, and he came up with a different explanation on this Verse as a possibility which made more sense.  He mentioned to the affect that this verse was most likely revealed at a time when the Muslims had won several battles and were in possession of much booty & wealth which was meant to be used by the State of Medinah for the benefit of the land and to help the needy.  At such a time, several families in Medinah started making demands highlighting their needs to acquire some share of that wealth.  Probably some of the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) might have wanted a little of that money for their personal use and thus pressured the Prophet (pbuh) concerning it.  The Prophet did not yield to their demands and was likely somewhat upset by their attraction to worldly riches.  And this Verse 33:28 refers to that situation.

Yes, this sounds very sensible and is most likely the backdrop of Verse 33:28.


Last week we hosted a talk and dinner inviting a Bosnian academic who is a close family friend of my husband and also one of the few who prefers elucidations of Quranic Verses independently, dispelling the mainstream addiction of rushing to hadith and adhering to its grossly incorrect explanations.

Here is what he opined in connection with Verse 33:28 as a strong possibility.

This was most likely the period following the successes of the Battle of Trench and the siege of the treacherous Banu Qurayzah, a phase when the first and small Muslim government in Al-Medinah was seeing a prosperous turn of fortune.  Many Muslims became quite rich after retaining their shares of the booty and thus elevating the standard of their lives with a higher degree of comfort.  In the case of the Prophet's (pbuh) household, it made no difference.  As the head of the government, all booty that came as his share went to the Bait-al-Mal or the state welfare treasury to be spent on the common weal (namely widows, orphans, elderly)  and for works on civic developments etc.  No riches from the booty came to the Prophet's household.  He did not consider that necessary.  Though maintaining a very modest / simple standard, the Prophet (pbuh) knew that food, clothing and shelter required for survival was already available to members of his household.  But the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) began yearning for  similar elevated comforts as in the homes of certain other Muslims enriched by their newly acquired wealth.  The Prophet, tender at heart, didn't wish to argue with his wives nor would he ever bring money from the state treasury to his home for purposes of non-essential comfort.  The periodical demands of his wives made him uneasy, and he remained silent all the time.  Verse 33:28 helps the Prophet to handle this situation.  As can be assessed from the Verse, Allah approved of the Prophet's decision not to enrich his household, discarding the simplicity that existed.  Thus the Divine Suggestion to him to tell his wives that if they weren't content with their present situation, they could terminate their marriage in which case the Prophet (pbuh) would have to provide them with a financial settlement, and possibly for that purpose it would be justifiable to use money from the state treasury for the support of single divorced women (as in the case of widows).  Whether or not any of the wives agreed on a divorce is not known.  Most likely they did not.  But only Allah knows the precise details that followed.
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2017, 12:12:33 pm »

Another very good read provided by Sister Heba.  So, Verse 33:28 refers to divorce as an option, right?

Btw, haven't the Jalalayn and Maududi tafsirs borrowed plenty of Hadith info while trying to explain this Verse?  Though Maududi has also used bit of common sense away from hadith ....
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2017, 01:16:49 pm »

Yeah Sis .... divorce comes as an option for the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) who may choose worldly adornments in preference to the Reward of Allah in the Hereafter.   There is never any compulsion in a Muslim marriage, if any of the spouses feel they aren't happy. 

Also true, Maududi has included some rational points but overall it's much too lengthy, profuse with too many unnecessary points and as you rightly said, several references to hadith adding to the needless length of his work and making it unreliable.  According to his commentary, the Prophet (pbuh) had 4 wives at this time.  That could be true as the Prophet never had more than 4 wives at any time.  However, Maududi being a hadithist, doesn't adhere to that.  He mentioned 4 wives for this commentary taking it from the set of commentaries by Abu Bakr Ibn Arabi known as "Akham al-Quran."   Al-Arabi belonged to the Maliki school (in other words, he adhered to the divisions that propped up in Islam later).  However, Al-Arabi's era was during the Muslim rule of Spain, a period when there was no Wahabiism as we see today and therefore the type of ahadith that circulated back then were less offensive.  Nonetheless, the authenticity issue was similar as today.  In a nutshell, Al-Arabi's work invariably refers to hadith narrations as "evidence" for his statements.  Thus he brings us back to square one where we have to do our own research for more likely & plausible suggestions for the various queries we deal with.  Henceforth, not all contents of Maududi's work can be accepted as confirmed either.

Furthermore, Maududi also links this tafsir with a Shariah law called "Takhyir" when husband gives the wife the choice to keep the marriage or leave.  However, there's no such thing as takhyir specified in the Quran. Both husband and the wife have their own entitlements to choose divorce if they so desire.  Verse 33:28 is an advise from Allah Almighty to the Prophet.  It doesn't need to be made complicated by linking it with intricate Shairah laws.

Jalalayn tafsir is very brief and offers no significant points to reflect upon.  It tells nothing much except for the useless hadith fib that the Prophet had 9 wives at this time. 

Then there's another tafsir from Islamic Studies Info Tafheem .... another useless tafsir with total hadith dependent contents.  Though it does give a connection with the period of Battle of the Trench, it explains Verse 33:28 exclusively with reference to a hadith by some Jabir bin Abdullah which is much the same as the specimen brother TS quoted in the second post of this thread. 
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2017, 01:30:55 pm »

Many, many thanks dear Sister Heba.  Your additional input has helped still more;  very illuminating indeed, Alhumdulilah.   
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2017, 01:46:11 pm »


Very articulately defined Sister Heba.  Helpful indeed.
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2017, 05:15:44 pm »

Alhumdulilah.  Allah bless you sister for elaborating this topic by including some more possibilities.

I would also like to mention for the information of guest readers the issue of Banu Qurayzah which has been distorted by too many false details coming from tainted sources officially known as "traditions."  Strange unfounded stories such as all men of Banu Qurayzah were executed on the Prophet's (pbuh) orders for treachery etc. abound all over the so-called sunnah outlets.  Unfortunately Ibn Khalidun, who is generally more careful as a historian compared to Ibn Hisham, his contemporaries and some orientalists, has also according to Pickthall taken a few points from Hadithist sources as a shortcut.  To know the truth and where the matter actually stands, read our analysis:
History: The Big Lie About the Massacre of the Jews of Banu Qurayza in Medina
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2017, 05:21:00 pm »

Thanko brother  Smiley   And additional thanks for putting up the Banu Qurayzah link.  That's a thoroughly educational piece posted by Sis Zeynab which largely debunks that foxy Banu Qurayzah scuttlebutt.
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